Film adaptation of the novel "Eve de ses decombres" by Ananda Devi, The Children of Troumaron is a journey into Mauritius today, far from formatted images and clichés.
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In Troumaron, an impoverished area of Port-Louis, the capital of Mauritius island, four youngsters tell us about their fight for their survival: Sadiq, the would-be poet, Eve, who prostituted herself as a child to obtain school materials, Clelio filled with his anger against the world, and Savita, 'the good girl' who wants to escape but finds all avenues are closed. Eve has a plan for her and Savita to get away. But it will go terribly awry, and its tragic consequences will lead them into a spiral of violence.
Festival international des films d'Afrique et des Iles, La Réunion, 2012
* Audience Award
Fespaco 2013, Burkina Faso :
* Oumarou GandaAward for a first work
* Jury special Mention African critics award
Festicab, Festival international de films du Burundi 2013 :
* Prix d'interprétation féminine for Kitty Phillips.
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This second feature film of Cine Qua Non is based on a screenplay Ananda Devi, who adapted her own novel, published in France under the title "Eve de ses Décombres".
What fascinated us about this novel was it unflinching outlook on Mauritian society in the 21st century and on the world at large, through the portraits of the four young people telling their story. They live in Troumaron, a deprived area of Port-Louis, the capital of Mauritius, which feels as if it has been forgotten by the rest of the country. We follow the story of each of the four, their fight to survive, their plans to escape.
Although "Troumaron", is a fictional place, we shot the film in a very similar area where most people are unemployed and hope seems to be leeching out of the yellowed walls. The neighbourhood is almost one of the characters of the film, since the inhabitants allowed us to film their daily lives until the line between fiction and reality becomes blurred. Like the novel, the images we show of Mauritius are very different from those shown in the media. We see the flip side of the tropical island, where danger surrounds the young protagonists despite the slow and quiet beggining of the film.
Gradually, the shadows gather around the main characters. In fact, these shadows are set in motion early on in the film, where Savita decides to leave Troumaron. As she is walking away, she encounters her friend Eve on the beach, looking devastated. She tries to find out what happened to her and decides to stay for her sake. It looks as if their friendship will bring them the hope they never had until then. But it is this decision made by Savita that will lead to her own death.
What we also liked about this story were the connections between all the characters, the ties that bind them more and more tightly until they are imprisoned in the manner of a Greek tragedy. Sad wishes to protect Eve, but is also a member of the gang that threatens the two girls; Eve's escape plan will backfire tragically and lead to Savita's death; Savita's murder causes Clélio to be arrested; Clélio's arrest will set fire to the already smouldering neighbourhood; and Eve, at the film's core, the most ambiguous of the characters, will close this devastating cycle of violence.
The film also makes a politcal statement about the way those in power have forsaken the youngsters from the deprived areas, about the adults who are no longer able to guide their children, about a society that turns away from the tragedies that take place in front of their eyes. The resort to violence is, as Sad says in the film, "the resistance of the hopeless."